The world is very complicated and that it’s probably impossible to understand it all. The reason for this is that it’s full of people. Each person has a world of complication inside them. All these worlds together are never going to achieve any kind of coherence. Life’s only going to be experienced as simple if we isolate ourselves from everyone and everything else. And that’s not a good way to go. And so we have to find a way to cope with the complexity.
One way to do this is through choice. We choose what we want to take notice of. We choose what we allow in our world. And book publishing is no different. We choose the books we want to read. Everyone (that reads) does.
We choose on the basis of the information provided to us. It’s possible to argue that we also choose according to our means, but that’s not always a valid criterion. There are libraries that allow us to read for free. There are also car boot sales, table top sales and charity shops that supply books at very little cost. Then there are friends and family who read and pass on books for free. Reading habits are not always determined on the basis of money. But they are based on information.
We know what we like to read. We try to read more of the same. We read covers, spines, blurbs, reviews and listen to friends (and others) to gain the information we need in order to decide whether the next book is similar to the ones we already like.
Information about a book is based on the contents of the book. The blurb is a tiny summary of the contents. Reviews are a view of what the book contains. Friends talk about a book based on what is in it.
So forget about money – it’s not about that. The success of the novel you will write is determined by what’s in it and how effectively you can get people to talk about that. Content and talk. That’s all.
Have a nice day.